The families of four people who died from COVID-19 are suing the Manhattan-based nonprofit that funded coronavirus research in China for “creating” the bug – and “releasing it, either intentionally or accidentally.”
EcoHealth Alliance and its president, Peter Daszak, knew the virus was dangerous and “capable of causing a worldwide pandemic,” according to the Aug. 2 Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
Despite partially-funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the virus originated, EcoHealth failed to make sure critical safety measures were in place — then worked to cover up the origins of the outbreak, they claimed in court papers.
“If we had known the source or origin of this virus and had not been misled that it was from a pangolin in a wet market, and rather we knew that it was a genetically manipulated virus, and that the scientists involved were concealing that from our clients, the outcome could have been very different,” Patricia Finn, the victims’ attorney, told The Post.
The families of Mary Conroy, of Pennsylvania; Emma D. Holley, of Rochester, NY; Larry Carr, of Crossville, Tennessee; and Raul Osuna, of Bennington, Nebraska, are seeking unspecified damages.
“[The families of the deceased] are definitely in mourning, but moreover they’re enraged because the truth of what really happened appears to be coming forward,” Finn added.
Paul Rinker, of Pennsylvania, is also suing Midtown-based EcoHealth and Daszak over the “serious injuries” he suffered from his bout with the bug.